United States: Retail sales disappoint again with flat growth in July
August 13, 2014
In July, growth in retail sales was flat over the previous month in nominal terms. The print came in below the 0.2% expansion recorded in June and undershot market expectations of a 0.2% increase. It also marked the weakest result since January and the fourth consecutive deceleration. Higher sales at miscellaneous stores and clothing retailers were offset by a decline in sales at general merchandise stores, including department stores, and at motor vehicle and parts dealers.
Retail sales excluding cars and gas—a closely watched subcategory of the retail trade index—increased a modest 0.1% over the previous month in July. The reading came in below the 0.6% expansion recorded in June (previously reported: +0.4% month-on-month), and undershot market expectations of a 0.3% increase.
Retail sales rose 3.7% compared to the same month last year and came in below the 4.3% increase recorded in June. The annual trend was down, with annual average growth in retail sales falling from 3.8% in June to 3.6% in July, which represented a nearly four-year low.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist